Saturday, September 14, 2019

Before and After

Here is the track arrangement after the recent rebuild:

And here is the old "before" version:

50+ Years of N Scale Equipment

It is hard to believe that American N Scale equipment has been around for more than half a century. I know that its European roots go back much further but I consider American N Scale to have begun flourishing when Atlas (with Rivarossi) and Aurora (Trix) began marketing American equipment in 1967. My earliest equipment was purchased in 1968. That year I bought 22 Atlas freight cars, 3 from Aurora and a single Arnold Rapido. 6 passenger cars from ConCor (4 GN) and AHM (2 PRR) came along for the ride. My introduction to quality KD freight cars did not begin until the late 70s.

In 1969 my first engines were 2 Atlas (PC) GP40s and an AHM (CB&Q) GP30. A pair of Atlas (GN) F7s followed. Their motors burned brightly (and ran fast) but flickered into their death throes rather quickly. They are all gone now, $5 projects in other modelers’ part boxes. My oldest still running (?) engines are my Trix 0-6-0s (79), ConCor RDCs (81) and a bevy of Atlas RS3s (83).

The KDs are from the late 70s. Some of my first KDs were special runs (Cross Roads Ranch, Youth Awakening, and the Gospel Train) put out by a Pastor to raise money for some facilities that ministered to at-risk kids. (You cannot beat free trains for a tax deductible gift!). I don’t think they sold well because I understand a model railroad club ending up buying the unaccounted for stock for repainting purposes.

Since the initial stage of my layout rebuild is now just about done, I thought it would be a good time to honor the equipment that got me all started in N gauge 50+ years ago. It will end with some of my current equipment. I have never used a video editor before so I cobbled this together with "shotcut" shareware and a poor resolution point and shoot camera.

Corrections: "Born to Be Wild" (1968 and "Rusty Draper"

Stars of the Show

The Costs of Star Power

Monday, September 2, 2019

Woodbury – Laurel St. and Washington Ave.

I have rarely enjoyed such a string of modeling ambition and I rode the wave as long as possible. This will conclude the scenery wave as it is now time to prepare for an upcoming operating session. (I have 63 turnouts to tune, a short in one of the 2 yard leads to diagnose, and waybills to realign.) 

Laurel St between Cooper St and Hunter Ave in Woodbury was basically “completed”. (Still needs lights, people, weathering, and detailing.)

Washington Ave in North Woodbury got extended (although it now curving in the opposite direction of the prototype).

Now the bulbous peninsula end has been broken up and somewhat disguised.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Broad Street (Woodbury) Lake

I took a quarter of the end of the peninsula to try to replicate the Broad Street (Woodbury) Lake section in North Woodbury.

Here is a Bill Lane shot from June 23, 1970 with RDC M409 on the culvert:

And here is my effort to replicate with PRSL RDC M413:

Friday, August 16, 2019

The End of the World

I am coming to the end of my 70% rebuild and it is finally time to attack the peninsula turnback problem.

Turnbacks are always a problem to hide so most times you are forced to go to a hill or mountain to hide/break up the non-prototypical 180-270 degree curve. Then there is the issue of keeping your expensive engines and cars off the floor. With only an inch or two to work with you need to create barrier between the “end of the world” and the floor.

I decided to make as much of a Sculptamold rise as I could in the limited space. So I got a roll of duct tape and taped it to the end of the 5/8” plywood and then bent it back on itself so it wouldn’t stick to the Sculptamold (and to make it sturdier).

When that was in place, I added bottle fir trees to the outer edge. Their wire frames are definitely sturdy enough to bounce the cars back onto the layout if the ridge itself doesn’t stop them.

K4s on Freight Trains

Someone on the PRSL Historical Society asked whether PRR K4s ever ran in freight service.

Another member posted a photo from Don Ball's Pennsylvania RR book showing one in action in Maple Shade, NJ. It was led by the PRR's lone red Baldwin VO-1000.

I loved the photo so I tried to recreate it on my N scale layout. Atlas manufactured the red 5916 and it is a fine model. I used a no longer running Mini Trix K4 to complete the set-up. I couldn't find my MoPac hopper so I substituted a PRR H30 covered hopper.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Time to Check In!

It has been 8 years and 225 posts since I started this blog at the suggestion of a friend and the view counts have been healthy but I wonder if 99% of them aren't web crawlers.

So if there are any real readers out there please leave a comment below and why you bother reading my ramblings:
  • You like the real Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines
  • You are a friend I forced to read it
  • You are looking for ideas
  • Nothing better to do
  • You found it through N Scale Magazine
  • ...
P.S. I sent in a "tip" on storing trains to the on-line Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine and they turned it into 7 pages so please forgive my sloppy English, I didn't expect it to become an article.

And if you read it please give the article a higher than normal rating because of my good looks. (My wife could not recognize me in the magazine photo.)

The real me. Where did all my hair go?

P.S.S. The last 2 areas needing first pass scenery (Sculptamold and paint)

The end of the peninsula.  Turnbacks alway create a challenge to hide. (You also usually need to provide a barrier to keep the trains from changing from outbound to floorbound.)

Woodbury Lake (actually prototypical) will occupy the right side (framed by tree slopes).

Except for the track curvature this is also prototypical for just beyond the Woodbury Station

This end of North Woodbury is not so prototypical but the scenery does need to blend (Doesn't it?)

The Glassboro loop is mythical but is needed to get altitude to complete the mainline return.
The scenery will attempt to hide the access hole and the ugly pole lamp.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Brooklawn Circle(s) - Merit gas station pole is the hint of the now missing 2nd circle

The Patk N'Eat (Murphy House) greasy spoon. Looks like a rare crowd tonight.

Timber Creek trestle. I had to curve it to fit.

The PRSL Power Plant closed in 1924 when it became cheaper to get electric from the local power company but in my time warp it is continuing to receive coal into the 1950s and thus generating operating traffic.

Buzby Bros. cement company in Westville. I still need to rebuild the damaged towers.

Station Avenue in Westville with the Mary Jane Florist and Embassy movie theater.

Decker's Mobil on Gateway Blvd/

Texaco refinery in Westville.

Looks like Olive & Broadway has a farmer's market going.

Checkers match on Olive St. in South Westville. Yuk Coke! Where's the Pepsi?

Holloway Lumber just got in some more boards.

Looks like trash/garbage day on Washington Ave. in North Woodbury.